Warwickshire Rural Hub
Legislation & Regulation
Reminder of key dates in September
1st – You can cut or trim hedges and trees from this date. (GAEC 7a and 7c)
1st – Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland on shallow or sandy soils. (SMR 1)
1st – Start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to tillage land. (SMR 1)
15th – Start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland. (SMR 1)
16th – Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to tillage land on shallow or sandy soils which have been sown with crops on or before 15 September. (SMR 1)
Removal of restrictions on feeding potato sprout suppressant
The HSE have removed livestock feeding restrictions on potato sprout suppressant Maleic hydrazide, concluding there is no evidence for safety concerns on treated potato material.
Reminder of key dates in August
1st – If you have been granted a derogation by RPA, you may be able to cut or trim hedges throughout August, to sow oilseed rape or temporary grassland.
1st – For those within an NVZ: Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to tillage land on shallow or sandy soils except where crops will be sown on or before 15 September.
20th – Ecological Focus Area (EFA) catch crops must be established by this date.
Arrangements for land in an NVZ since 2017
If your land was in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone for the first time in 2017 the transitional arrangements for complying with new rules have now ceased and as from 31 July 2019 you will have to comply with the NVZ rules on spreading, storing and separating slurry and manure.
Derogation for hedge cutting in August
BPS claimants who need to be able to cut hedges before 1 September alongside fields where they are sowing oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland must apply for a derogation in order to avoid breaching cross compliance requirements. Applications must be to the RPA who have a 15 working day response target. You must have received your written confirmation before the work can commence.
Email requests should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’. Please include your Claimant name and address/SBI number/Field reference numbers and confirmation that you wish to sow oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland on these parcels in August. If you wish to cut both sides of a hedge, you will need to list both the relevant field numbers and be sowing oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland in both fields.
Ensure emails are only sent from email addresses which are registered with RPA on rural payments online and the person sending the email is registered to the business and has permission to act for the business. Full guidance can be found in the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2018
Defra issues 3 new general licences to control pest bird species
Three new general licences for killing certain birds have been issued by Defra, extending the number of species that can be shot without having to apply for an individual licence. These new licences extend the number of birds and range of circumstances under which lethal control is permitted without the need for an individual licences.
The new licences will allow users to control certain species of wild birds in order to:
- conserve other wild birds, flora or fauna
- preserve public health or public safety
- prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit (GL36)
The bird species covered by GL36 are carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, rook, woodpigeon, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, monk parakeet and ring-necked parakeet.
New Environment Agency hotline for exempt abstractors
The Environment Agency has established a free hotline and bookable appointments service to help previously exempt abstractors complete their New Authorisation application forms by 1 October, in order to meet the deadline of 31 December 2019. The dedicated team will be supporting New Authorisations applicants by:
• answering any specific questions they may have
• helping them decide if they need to apply for a licence
• talking them through completing their application forms
• arranging a convenient call-back time to take them through their application
The hotline and bookable appointments service can be accessed by calling our normal National Customer Contact Centre service on 03708 506506 and asking for New Authorisations, or by email via enquiries@environment‐agency.gov.uk
Advice on Farming Rules for Water
Advice on how to manage fertiliser, manure and soil to prevent run-off, leaching and erosion and meet the new Farming Rules for Water are available on the Gov.uk website.
Farming Rules for Water
The new Farming Rules for Water will be enforceable from 2 April 2019. The rules standardise good farming practices that many farmers are already demonstrating following on from the Codes of Good Agricultural Practice. The rules are separate from cross-compliance. Full details of the new rules are available here.
Key dates for BPS, CS and ES
The Rural Payments Agency has put together a timeline of the important dates for 2019 to be aware of for Basic Payments Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship. The dates and further information are available on the RPA website. Alternatively you can download the calendar here.
BPS and Greening requirements for 2019
In common with previous years, the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will run for the full calendar year (1 January to 31 December 2019). Those who are intending to claim BPS for 2019 will be required to comply with the BPS requirements for the entire year, despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) in March 2019. This includes cross compliance and greening requirements.
Download the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2019
The new guide to Cross Compliance rules in England for 2019 can be downloaded here.
There are no confirmed policy changes to the rules for 2019. However, please be aware that for SMR 1 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) land that was in an NVZ for the first time in 2017, transitional arrangements have been in place to not meet some of the NVZ rules. These arrangements come to an end in July 2019, when the requirement to meet all the NVZ rules starts on 31 July 2019. For more information read SMR 1: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones on page 39 of the guide.
Updated information on riparian rights
Updated information on your responsibilities and rules to follow for watercourses on or near your property, and permissions you need to do work around them, have been placed on the Gov.uk website. Visit the link below to view the information.
New rules for fertilizer management to protect water quality
From April 2018 all farmers in England will need to follow a new set of farming rules for water. New regulations will now be made which will give these rules legal force from then. The rules will:
• promote good practice in managing fertilisers and manures through eight rules covering planning and use, storage and application of fertilisers and manures and soil erosion measures
• encourage land managers to take reasonable precautions to prevent diffuse pollution from runoff or soil erosion
• require soil tests at least every 5 years on cultivated land
• protect land within 5 metres of watercourses from significant soil erosion by preventing poaching by livestock.
Further details can be found on the website below.
Enhanced TB control measures
From November 2017 enhanced TB control measures will be introduced to reduce the risk posed by inconclusive skin test reactors. This follows on from a consultation held in 2016.
All inconclusive reactors (IRs) in the High Risk Area (HRA) and Edge Area (and in TB breakdown herds in the Low Risk Area) that have a negative result on re-testing will remain restricted for the rest of their life to the holding in which they were found. The only permitted off movements for such animals will be to slaughter (either directly or via an Approved Finishing Unit).
Warwickshire re-classified as fully in the Edge Area for TB
Following a public Defra TB consultation held in 2016, and an informal consultation held in October 2017, Defra has announced enhanced cattle measures in the Edge Area; which will take effect from January 2018.
The changes from January 2018 include re-classification of Edge Area counties. The following part Edge, part High Risk Area split counties will be re-classified as fully in the Edge Area
Warwickshire and Oxfordshire
East Sussex, Derbyshire and Cheshire
Government announces plans to introduce trickle irrigation licensing
Defra has announced plans to end water abstraction licensing exemptions in England and Wales. It is expected that these changes will be made shortly, opening a two year abstraction licence application window on 1 January 2018.
It is estimated that 5,000 existing operations will require an abstraction licence for the first time and expected that most applicants will successfully secure abstraction licences that meet their historic needs. Exempt operators such as trickle irrigators will have two years to submit their licence application with effect from 1 January 2018. The licence determination process must be completed within five years of the application window opening.
Reminder on water abstraction licences
If your current water abstraction licence is due to expire, and you want to continue to abstract, you need to apply for a new licence at least 3 months before the existing licence expires.
For more information on applying for a water abstraction licence, please visit the website below.
EU vote not to block changes to greening rules
The EU Parliament has voted not to block proposed changes to greening and other elements of BPS rules. The ban on the use of plant protection products on field-based Ecological Focus Area options will therefore come into force. No timescale has been given.
Please be reminded that Dewlap tags, which are inserted through the dewlap of cattle, are legally classed as a mutilation (Animal Welfare Act 2006). Using the dewlap tag is therefore illegal and if farms are found to be using these tags at an RPA or APHA inspection it will be considered a rectifiable breach and will incur a penalty.
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Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
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Tel: 07780 159291
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
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Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
Hub Steering Group Members
Luke Ryder, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Susan Schlee, S2M Marketing
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Bob Slater, Slater Farm Management Services
Jef Tuyn, Agricultural Consultant
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
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